London’s Topshop opens at Yorkdale and Erin chats with Creative Director Kate Phelan

“Everyone has a Topshop story,” says Kate Phelan, the personable creative director of Topshop. “Nobody is a stranger to it, even though the brand is new to Canada”. What’s your story?

In partnership with The Bay, Topshop and Topman are now open at Yorkdale Shopping Centre. After months of anticipation, TopShop will bring its risk-taking and trend-setting style to Canada. Once capsule collections launched in Vancouver and Calgary, and a pop-up opened inside Toronto’s Jonathan and Olivia, it became clear that Canadians were craving the Brit brand.

“What’s so lovely about this location is that it is a true representation of what Topshop should be,” Phelan says about the Yorkdale location, which evokes the spirit of London’s Oxford Circus store. Topshop Canada includes designer collaborations and the UNIQUE line shown at London Fashion Week; basically, as Canadians, we are not missing out this time. And collaborations with Simone Rocha and Michael van der Ham will hit the floor soon. Exciting!

Phelan, who is known for launching the careers of many stylists and designers, is a big fan of Mary Katrantzou and her work with prints. J.W. Anderson is another young designer to watch for, strongly established in both menswear and womenswear. Given Phelan’s taste and style, these two names in British fashion could be very influential in upcoming Topshop seasons. But
what is most fantastic about Topshop Canada is that the prices are 10% lower than those in American stores. Plus, students receive 10% off with valid identification. Options for personal shoppers will exist, fulfilling one of many creative concepts behind original Topshop stores.

Phelan had worked as a fashion director with British Vogue since 1993 but the transition from magazines to retail wasn’t all that difficult; in both jobs, you must work with designers and look at trends. “Topshop is about setting trends of its own. It has its own uniqueness and confidence, and the idea is that Topshop is always true to itself. It’s authentic,” Phelan notes.

The store is broken up into conceptualized areas: there is glam underground for the hard girl who likes leather and animal prints; punk influences for fall; new mod comprising of graphic designs, tailoring and pencil skirts (Kate’s favourite); prim and proper for the soft, pretty girl who is inspired by vintage prints; Bavaria for embellished European looks; Unique from London Fashion Week; and finally, Boutique which is a minimalist high-end collection.

Although the collections focus on several trends, each item can be mixed and matched from any part of the store for that raw English street style look. With 15,000 square feet of space in The Bay and the launch of Canadian online shopping at thebay.com/topshop and thebay.com/topman, nobody can tell you how to wear your Topshop.
Happy Shopping!

~ Erin Pehlivan

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